The Coastal Post - February, 1996

Shaw To Head Drug Board

It was a rough start back in July and August, 1993, when Lynnette Shaw was appointed to the Marin County Drug Board. The Drug Board refused to seat her, and broke the Brown Act trying to oust her. She was subjected to public criticism and accusations. The Marin County Board of Supervisors insisted that her appointment be honored, reprimanded the Drug Board, and the story made national news.

It's January, 1996, and Ms. Shaw has been seated as Chair of the same Advisory Board on Alcohol and Other Drug Problems.

"It took a lot of hard work, many meetings and discussions to break the ice among the treatment community people. However, despite the initial prejudiced opinions, I have proven the step from a patient advocate to a treatment program advocate is not very far. We have many new members on our Board. The group of people I'm working with are terrific. We are all interested in saving people's lives, providing them with help, and stopping the suffering," said Lynnette. "I first applied to the Alcohol and Drug Board with the intent to educate concerned citizens about the life and death necessity of medical marijuana use among certain critical patients, and that such use should not be condemned as abuse, but as a helpful, safe and effective alternative to harder pain-killing drugs.

"I have spent the last two and a half years learning about the programs and methods used to save people from hard drugs, alcoholism, and abusive situations. People from the underground trust me enough to call me and ask for help, when they would never have called anyone else. They know I tell the truth and fight for what is right, and they feel safe with me. I am grateful for the opportunity the Drug Board has given me as their representative and primary officer," she stated.

The Medical Use of Marijuana initiative is being circulated currently, and Ms. Shaw has been directing the Marin Medical Marijuana Alliance volunteer signature gatherers. "I don't believe coordinating the medical marijuana petition is in conflict with my position. On the contrary, the Marin Board of Supervisors, Dr. Tom Peters, Director of Marin Health and Human Services, our Drug Board, the AIDS Commission, and many other local public agencies have endorsed and support the petition. This is a matter of compassion for the sick and dying. That's why Californians for Compassionate Use were compelled to file this petition, and why we're out on the streets and on the telephones," she concluded.

For more information regarding alcohol and drug treatment programs, please contact the main office at (415) 899-8660.

To volunteer for the Marin Alliance, please call (415) 893-9513.